Palgrave Studies in Cultural Heritage and Conflict

Constructions of Victimhood

Remembering the Victims of State Socialism in Germany

Authors: Clarke, David

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  • Focuses on three major areas of memory policy in relation to the victims of the SBZ/GDR
  • Interrogates the limitations of state-mandated memorializations and policies that address aspects of the national past 
  • Seeks to understand the formulation of memory policy in the context of systems theory
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eBook $79.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-04804-4
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Hardcover $99.99
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About this book

The post-war Federal Republic of Germany faced the task of addressing the plight of the victims of state socialism under the Soviet occupation of eastern Germany and in the German Democratic Republic, many of whom fled to the west. These victims were not passive objects of the West German state’s policy, but organized themselves into associations that fought for recognition of their contribution to the fight against communism. After German unification, the task of commemorating and compensating these victims continued under entirely new political circumstances, yet also in the context of global trends in memory politics and transitional justice that give priority to addressing the fate of victims of non-democratic regimes.

Constructions of Victimhood: Remembering the Victims of State Socialism in Germany draws on the constructivist systems theory of Niklas Luhmann to analyze the role of victims organizations, the political system, and historians and heritage professionals in the struggle over the memory of suffering under state socialism, from the Cold War to the present day. The book argues that the identity and social role of victims has undergone a process of constant renegotiation in this period, offering an innovative theoretical framework for understanding how restorative measures are formulated to address the situation of victims. As such, it offers not only insights into a neglected aspect of post-war German history, but also contributes to the ongoing academic debate about the role of victims in process of transitional justice and the politics of memory.

About the authors

David Clarke is Professor of Modern German Studies at Cardiff University, UK.

Reviews

Constructions of Victimhood develops a unique methodological and theoretical approach to the study of post-war memory politics in Germany. It is original, carefully argued, theoretically innovative and based on extensive empirical research. This important book will make a significant contribution to research and practice in this field.” (Sara Jones, author of The Media of Testimony: Remembering the East German Stasi in the Berlin Republic (Palgrave, 2014))

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $79.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-04804-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $99.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-04803-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Constructions of Victimhood
Book Subtitle
Remembering the Victims of State Socialism in Germany
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Cultural Heritage and Conflict
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-04804-4
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-04804-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-04803-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 315
Number of Illustrations
2 b/w illustrations
Topics